Port Canaveral-Based U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Vigilant Assists Haitian Coast Guard To Stop Illegal Migrants
By Space Coast Daily // January 7, 2019
U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Vigilant homeported at Port Canaveral since 1990
BREVARD COUNTY • PORT CANAVERAL, FLORIDA – The Port Canaveral-based U.S. Coast Guard Coast Guard Cutter Vigilant assisted the Haitian Coast Guard to stop approximately 70 Haitian migrants approximately 26 miles north of Cap Haïtien, Haiti.
At approximately 1:30 a.m., the Coast Guard Cutter Vigilant crew sighted a roughly 40-foot Haitian freighter. The cutter Vigilant crew launched a small boat crew to question the people aboard.
Upon detection, the freighter changed course back south to Haiti. The cutter Vigilant crew continued to shadow the vessel while Coast Guard 7th District watchstanders contacted the Haitian Coast Guard.
A Haitian Coast Guard marine unit arrived on scene at approximately 9:30 a.m. and relieved the cutter Vigilant crew.
“This case highlights a critical component to the success of curbing illegal immigration in the Caribbean and that is of our international partners, and in this case specifically, the Haitian Coast Guard,” said Capt. Aldante Vinciguerra, chief of response for the Coast Guard’s 7th District.
“The close cooperation between both U.S. Coast Guard and Haitian Coast Guard operational teams in this instance helped prevent a dangerous and ill-advised illegal migrant voyage from potentially capsizing and ending tragically as we, unfortunately, have seen happen recently. The U.S. Coast Guard has maintained a continual presence in the Florida Straits and Caribbean basin and will continue to do so to detect, deter, and stop these illegal and unsafe voyages.”
Vigilant was commissioned in 1964, which means it has served this nation well over 50 years.
During those many years, the cutter and its crews have performed the missions of maritime law enforcement, search and rescue, homeland security, national defense and international engagement.
Vigilant is the 12th cutter to bear the name, dating back to 1790 when the original Vigilant was built for the Revenue Cutter Service.
In 1990, Vigilant moved her homeport to Port Canaveral. Vigilant has just completed another yard period, updating her with the most modern electronic and engineering equipment available.
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